Frustration Level: High

Last week I was looking for a small hammer as I was going to hang a picture for Lindsey. Yes, I have other hammers, but I was getting frustrated as I couldn’t find the one I wanted. I think it was a situation where someone borrowed it and didn’t put it away and that was making me very unhappy. Sound like anyone you know (yes, I’m turning into my Dad)?

Fear not, eventually I tracked down the hammer and all is well.

While I was looking around for the hammer I checked my toolbox to see if maybe it had been misplaced. I looked at all the tools I own and it made me smile.

I’ve got tools for building/servicing a lot of different things. I own tools used by:

  • mechanics
  • carpenters
  • electricians
  • plumbers

I have tools for repairing small electronics (computers, phones, etc) and for repairing bicycles.

I’m not going to say I know everything about anything (I don’t), but I’ve always figured if you learned how to measure, to cut accurately and to use a level you could probably do any/all of the jobs in the skilled trades. Actually, those same skills and the attention to detail they require will probably take you much further than just the skilled trades. In my opinion those skills seem to translate into pretty much all aspects of life.

Craftsman Tools nameplate

Craftsman Tools

Words of Wisdom

Over the years I’ve picked up some saying that are actually just good advice/good practice and again have much wider applications than just the trades. I’m sure you’ve heard:

  • “measure twice, cut once”
  • “if you can’t find time to do the job right the first time, when are you going to find time to do the job again?”

I love the expression about doing the job right as I’m a huge proponent of working smart (doing the job once), not hard. I guess I should have added that to the list. More often than not, it takes longer, but I’ve never regretted taking the time to do a job right. I’m sure if I took shortcuts I’d be second guessing myself and regretting doing it till I took the time to do it right.

What Belongs on my Resume?

I was also thinking about the coolest things I’ve ever fixed. Thinking back to my time in the Army I did some work on radar sets, but that was with problems that were created to help us learn. I never actually fixed a real problem. I did fix some radios and that was pretty cool.

At home I’ve replaced the glass on an iPhone. That was kind of cool as it was a very time consuming process the first time and a whole of very, very small screws. I had to be careful to lay the part out in a very organized fashion so I could put the phone back together correctly..

I’ve built a couple of computers from scratch, but that really wasn’t difficult. Just basic assembly of the parts and loading the operating system. Both machines worked the very first time I turned them on. Fun to do, by really not much of a challenge.

I’ve replaced hard drives on computers lots of times. Installing larger capacity drives is pretty routine. Some of the machines are difficult to get into, but they’re usually designed with easy access to the drives. Very handy since now everything is replacing their hard drives with newer, faster, SSDs.

I replaced a drive in an iMac once and that acutally was pretty cool. It was like performing surgery as the drive was buried and required the removal of a lot of other components around it to get at the actual drive. I was really proud of that one.

As far as actually building stuff… I this is pretty easy. I’d go back to the house at 1018 Acewood and say the workbench and the basement remodel.

The workbench was 29′ 6″ of just plain awesome. And the room? What can you say… full bathroom, lots of custom stuff built in the design (entertainment center, closet, bed) and it is something I’ll always be proud of.

Before I forget I should probably thank you for being the person behind all of this. I’ll always remember you saying you bought Craftsman tools because you wanted quality tools. At the time I probably didn’t understand what you meant, but eventually I came to realize that the message was it was better to invest in one good tool versus spending the same amount on 10 of a crappy tool. I get that. I would not be happy with screwdrivers that don’t fit the screwheads or have tips that are no longer the correct shape.

A Tip of the Cap to Clay Stiller

I love having the right tool for the job in my toolbox. And if I don’t have the right tool I’ll certainly consider buying the right tool so I have it onhand for the next time. I feel like having the right tools means I can fix anything. Probably a byproduct of Head Miser’s confidence and the F & S Electronics slogan… “If we can’t fix it, it isn’t broken.”

Thanks for steering me in the right direction… a great life lesson.